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A 2020 Citizenship Questionnaire for Millennials   Leave a comment

By Tom DiLorenzo (found on Lew Rockwell)

Source: A 2020 Citizenship Questionnaire for Millennials

The following is a set of propositions about the nature of government and its relationship to the citizenry that I think should be of special interest to the younger generation, whether they are “millennials” or one of the other nicknamed younger age groups.  Look at it as a quiz, with each answer either “agree” or “disagree” and see how you do.  Here we go.

  1. It would be better if we had a unified country. Disagree. I think we should dissolve into regions or constituent states.
  2. We should have equal rights with respect to other nations. I suspect I disagree with this. What does the question even mean?
  3. Any person who is not a citizen will be able to live in our country as a guest. Disagree, kind of. Guests have obligations to not mess up the place and in my home, if  you want to stay a long time, you will be given chores to do.
  4. Government has a duty to provide employment for all of its citizens. Disagree.
  5. All citizens should have equal right and duties. Agree – emphasis on EQUAL and with rights comes duties. If you shirk on the duties, the rights aren’t automatically yours.
  6. The economy must be carried out within the framework of the general good of the community. Disagree. Sure, you shouldn’t poison your neighbors, but businesses exist for their owners and shareholders to provide goods and services to their willling customers. It’s none of the community’s business what I do with my company, so long as my activities are not directly harming them.
  7. War profiteering should be a crime. Agree and disagree. War profiteering through the US government should be a crime. What a manufacturer of armament does in other countries is none of my business.
  8. Large corporations should be nationalized so that they serve the common good and not private interests. Disagree. Government should stop favoring some companies over other companies and then get out of the way.
  9. Corporations should adopt profit sharing. Agree and disagree. I think corporations that want to adopt profit sharing should, but they shouldn’t be forced.
  10. Government should provide old-age pensions to all retirees. Disagree, because of reality.  I’ll get a government pension that you can’t afford to live on. My private retirement investments will provide me with something I can live on.
  11. Government should cultivate a sound middle class. Disagree because government should just get out of the way and let people live their lives.
  12. Government should have a right to expropriate land for public purposes without paying for it. Disagree.
  13. Government should use tax dollars to educate all children. Disagree.
  14. All children should be educated about the state by the state as early as possible. Disagree
  15. All college education should be “free” and paid for with tax revenues. Disagree
  16. Child labor should be banned. Agree, except we need to define what constitutes child labor.
  17. The army should be a national army controlled by the central government. Disagree.
  18. Spreading false “news” should be illegal. Disagree. One man’s false news is another man’s facts.
  19. There should be religious freedom for all, as long as it does not endanger the existence of the government. Disagree. True faith is probably the largest danger to the government that could exist and that’s a good thing.
  20. Excessive materialism should be condemned and outlawed. Agree and disagree. Excessive materialism is a moral sin, but it shouldn’t be outlawed. Maybe ostracized.
  21. Government policy should be guided by the dictum of “Public Interest before Private Interest.” Disagree. What the heck is “public interest” and why is that somehow better than what individuals want?

If you answered “agree” to at least eleven of these statements, then you would have made a good Nazi.  They are all taken from the February 24, 1920 Platform of the Nazi Party, formally known as “The Program of the National-Socialist German Workers’ Party”.

Our good friend, the late Professor Butler Shaffer, used to present a version of this questionnaire to his first-year law students at Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles, generations of which must have been very surprised at how the previous sixteen years or so of public school indoctrination in collectivism had turned them into ideological soulmates of Adolf Hitler.

Posted January 3, 2020 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

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Fascism & Communism   Leave a comment

Before the question, how about a few statistics? The 20th century was mankind’s most brutal century. Roughly 16 million people lost their lives during World War I; about 60 million died during World War II. Wars during the 20th century cost an estimated 71 million to 116 million lives (

Found on Lew Rockwell

The number of war dead pales in comparison with the number of people who lost their lives at the hands of their own governments. The late professor Rudolph J. Rummel of the University of Hawaii documented this tragedy in his book “Death by Government: Genocide and Mass Murder Since 1900.” Some of the statistics found in the book have been updated at

The People’s Republic of China tops the list, with 76 million lives lost at the hands of the government from 1949 to 1987. The Soviet Union follows, with 62 million lives lost from 1917 to 1987. Adolf Hitler’s Nazi German government killed 21 million people between 1933 and 1945. Then there are lesser murdering regimes, such as Nationalist China, Japan, Turkey, Vietnam and Mexico. According to Rummel’s research, the 20th century saw 262 million people’s lives lost at the hands of their own governments (

Hitler’s atrocities are widely recognized, publicized and condemned. World War II’s conquering nations’ condemnation included denazification and bringing Holocaust perpetrators to trial and punishing them through lengthy sentences and execution. Similar measures were taken to punish Japan’s murderers.

Death by Government: G…R. J. RummelBest Price: $32.96Buy New $41.42(as of 10:00 EST – Details)

But what about the greatest murderers in mankind’s history — the Soviet Union’s Josef Stalin and China’s Mao Zedong? Some leftists saw these communists as heroes. W.E.B. Du Bois, writing in the National Guardian in 1953, said, “Stalin was a great man; few other men of the 20th century approach his stature. … The highest proof of his greatness (was that) he knew the common man, felt his problems, followed his fate.” Walter Duranty called Stalin “the greatest living statesman” and “a quiet, unobtrusive man.” There was even leftist admiration for Hitler and fellow fascist Benito Mussolini. When Hitler came to power in January 1933, George Bernard Shaw described him as “a very remarkable man, a very able man.” President Franklin Roosevelt called the fascist Mussolini “admirable,” and he was “deeply impressed by what he (had) accomplished.”

In 1972, John Kenneth Galbraith visited Communist China and praised Mao and the Chinese economic system. Michel Oksenberg, President Jimmy Carter’s China expert, complained, “America (is) doomed to decay until radical, even revolutionary, change fundamentally alters the institutions and values.” He urged us to “borrow ideas and solutions” from China. Harvard University professor John K. Fairbank believed that America could learn much from the Cultural Revolution, saying, “Americans may find in China’s collective life today an ingredient of personal moral concern for one’s neighbor that has a lesson for us all.” By the way, an estimated 2 million people died during China’s Cultural Revolution. More recent praise for murdering tyrants came from Anita Dunn, President Barack Obama’s acting communications director in 2009, who said, “Two of my favorite political philosophers (are) Mao Zedong and Mother Teresa.”

Recall the campus demonstrations of the 1960s, in which campus radicals, often accompanied by their professors, marched around singing the praises of Mao and waving Mao’s Little Red Book. That may explain some of the campus mess today. Some of those campus radicals are now tenured professors and administrators at today’s universities and colleges and K-12 schoolteachers and principals indoctrinating our youth.

Now the question: Why are leftists soft on communism? The reason leftists give communists, the world’s most horrible murderers, a pass is that they sympathize with the chief goal of communism: restricting personal liberty. In the U.S., the call is for government control over our lives through regulations and taxation. Unfortunately, it matters little whether the Democrats or Republicans have the political power. The march toward greater government control is unabated. It just happens at a quicker pace with Democrats in charge.


Walter E. Williams is the John M. Olin distinguished professor of economics at George Mason University, and a nationally syndicated columnist. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page.

Copyright © 2017

Myth Busting – Hitler WAS a Socialist   Leave a comment

The National Socialist German Workers Party (Hitler’s party) were socialists. How do I make that claim? It’s right there in their title, for one, but also because Hitler’s henchman Goebbels never doubted that he was a socialist. He considered Nazism to be a better and more plausible form of socialism than that espoused by Lenin. Instead of spreading itself across different nations like dandelion seeds, it would operate just within German-speaking countries, thus assuring cultural victory.

Image result for image of hitler as a socialistFor the modern Left not to know this shows gross historical illiteracy. That they try to explain the connection away would be laughable if I believed most people in the US were educated enough to know the Left is stupid.

Hitler boasted that “the whole of National Socialism” was “based on Marx.” Hitler thought Marx had erred in fostering class division rather than national unity. By setting the workers against the industrialists Marx had, in Hitler’s view, missed an opportunity to unite them to the same goals. He meant to “convert the German Volk to socialism without simply killing off the old individualists.” He thought the bankers and factory owners could serve socialism better by generating revenue for the state.

Yeah, the national socialists  and the international socialists loathed one another and rushed to put each other in prison camps or before firing squads, but that was merely a territorial food fight between two tribes that hated free-market individualists. They were brothers and brothers tend toward rivalry, but they were still brothers, more alike than not. Both were evil forms of statism … one attracting people who envied the wealthy and the other seeking recruits by demonizing non-Aryans.

Somewhere along the line we’ve forgotten what Nazism really was and we’ve allowed leftists to define it as a more extreme form of conservatism. The myth revolves around the idea that left-wing means compassionate and right-wing means nasty and we all know fascists are nasty.

Does that sound silly worded like that?

That’s because it is. The media calls all sorts of groups “right-wing”. The Taliban, for example, is “right-wing” according to the media. Yet, the Taliban, while being conservative Muslims, want communal ownership of goods. The “right-wing” Iranian revolutionaries seized industries and destroyed the middle class.

So let’s step back and consider this. Both ideologists favored authoritarianism as a means to their ends. So do, for that matter, the Iranian revolutionaries and the Taliban. Authoritarianism is the believe that state (government) compulsion is justified in pursuit of a higher goal. That goal might be scientific progress or great equality or the protection of religion. It was traditionally a characteristic of social democrats and revolutionaries, as pointed out by the very progressive HG Wells, who in 1932, told the Young Liberals they must become “liberal fascists” and “englightened Nazis.”

Wells wasn’t not advocating for embracing Hitlerism, which didn’t actually exist in 1932. He was describing government interventionism. A lot of people in the United States at that time were pro-interventionism, having not yet recognized the racism and anti-Semitism that were part of the fascist program. They didn’t know what they didn’t know.

What is the excuse of modern people who excuse communism today? We know where it has always led and we should know that it will lead there again, but some of Americans romanticize an ideology that killed tens of millions of innocent people. Do you not realize that T-shirt of Che Guevara champions the vicious enforcing of Cuba’s totalitarian regime.

When Opposites Link Arms   1 comment

A really progressive, bleeding-heart, socialist social-worker friend of mine voted for Donald Trump.

When she told me that the other day, I was stunned. She enthusiastically voted for Al Gore, John Kerry and Barack Obama BOTH times. Why would she vote for Donald Trump in 2016?

She recognized some strangely implausible similarities between Bernie Sanders, who she absolutely loved, and Donald Trump, who wasn’t Hillary Clinton. Yeah, I saw those too, but it wasn’t enough to make me lose my mind in the voting booth. Maybe you had to love Bernie first and really hate Hillary, but I was dumbfounded.

So, I mulled it over. On the surface, Sanders and Trump represent opposite extremes … Sanders the socialist would have attempted to end mixed capitalism as we know it while Trump is a consummate businessman … Sanders would have increased taxes on the “wealthy” to unsustainable levels so as to redistribute wealth to the “poor” while Trump advocates for lower taxes on everyone … yes, they seem very different.

Then again, they both believe that the government is the people’s salvation and they both called for overthrowing the existing elites and replacing them with a more intense form of top-down rule. And that, I think, is what appeals to my very statist friend.

History is instructive here. The Nazis and the Communists hated each other in the interwar period and eventually fought each other to a bloodbath in World War 2. After the Nazis lost control of the nations they’d conquered, the Communists filled the void, trading one tyranny for another.

Although the ill-informed imagine these system as somehow representing polar opposites, they really aren’t. Both systems stemmed for the teachings of Hegel. They extolled the primacy of the State and practiced economic central planning. Both upheld the nation over the individual and created a cult of leadership. Both experiments with top-down social order ended in calamity and massive violations of human rights.

Why did two extremely similar systems with a common source become so antagonistic to one another? I’m going to guess it had something to do with fighting over the same resources … or maybe it was a personality thing.

As some pundits pointed out with Trump, American politics in 2016 looked like an updated version of the 1930s. The revolutionary left and right actually converged as both fought the establishment to make the government bigger without their supporters really seeing the convergence. That’s left to those of us who stand outside of partisan politics.

Sanders and Trump differed on particulars. Trump is against gun control, and Sanders extolled it. Sanders wanted to pillage the rich, and Trump doesn’t want to be pillaged. Sanders made a big deal about global warming, and Trump doesn’t seem to take it seriously.

Image result for image of fascism and communism the sameThey largely agreed on having a nation state as the central organizing unit of life itself. They had different priorities on who it should serve and where the state should expand most, but they agreed on the need to protect and enlarge state power. They hold no guiding principles that would limit the state from overwhelming the individual. Just look at some of the big issues — healthcare, immigration, and control of lands by the federal government — their positions were largely indistinguishable.

Yes, their supporters loathe one other. Each considers the other an enemy to be destroyed … unless they really hate Hillary, in which case there might be room for compromise. The Sanders-Trump fight wasn’t about power so much as it was about who could use that power.

Most of their supporters didn’t see it that way, of course. They imagined themselves to be rebels fighting power itself, whether represented by Wall Street, the party establishment, the paid-off politicians, the bureaucracy, the billionaires, the foreigners, the special interests, and so on. Neither attacked government authority because  they both aspired to use it and grow it for their purposes.

These thoughts precede me. F.A. Hayek in The Road to Serfdom (1944) clarified the difference between the thought paradigms of his day were not substantitive. They were stylistic.

“The conflict between the Fascist or National-Socialist and the older socialist parties must indeed very largely be regarded as the kind of conflict which is bound to arise between rival socialist factions. There was no difference between them about the question of it being the will of the state which should assign to each person his proper place in society.”

Hayek understood that it is a matter of the demographics. The old socialists sought support from within working classes and depended heavily on the support of intellectuals. The new socialists (Fascists and Nazis) were supported by the young generation, “out of that contempt for profit-making fostered by socialist teaching.” These people “spurned independent positions which involved risk, and flocked in ever-increasing numbers into salaried positions which promised security.” They were demanding a place yielding them income and power to which their training entitled them but which seemed perpetually out of reach.

Hayek was talking about 1930s Europe, but it’s a pretty good description of Sanders supporters, who were overwhelmingly young. Betrayed by the educational system, stuck with a bleak job outlook, burdened with debt, trapped in a broken healthcare market, feeling like the system is rigged against them, they turned to the politician who promised heaven on earth through the pillaging of the wealthy elites.

Then you have the fascist and national socialist right, with its own forms of scapegoating and its own class appeal. They blame the nation’s troubles on outsiders — the immigrants, the media elite, the Muslims, the intellectuals and their political correctness. They created a new form of identity politics based on nation and race. The idea of equality is a mere cover for a power grab, a subversive trick to furthering the interests of the elites and those evil “others.”

Hayek noted that neither faction emerged in a vacuum. “Their tactics were developed in a world already dominated by socialist policy and the problems it creates.” But instead of viewing the problem as statism itself, they pushed for state power to be used in a different way.

Related imageMy friend is from Iowa and rails against her home state’s Republican voters who haven’t yet figured out that the military, the surveillance state, and immigration control that they love so much stem from the government they claim to hate. On the other hand, she rails against the government and fails to see that the social support network that she loves so much, that enslaves so many people in perpetual poverty, also stems from the government she hates.

We could ignore this insanity like my anarchist friends do. Well, maybe they like to watch the old failed political system running aground on the reef of human nature. After all, it’s happening in both parties and the public sector is showing intense strain as it scrabbles for control. Can they control Trump or is their promise of better living through bigger bureaucracy flopping?

The political sector becomes more unstable and ridiculous by the day. You can see this as tragic and terrible, or fun and delightful. It’s kind of entertaining and terrifying at the same time. I think it will ultimately be a good thing, but change is always scary and we’re teetering on the edge of a massive ravine of change.

Looking Back 50 Years to Today   1 comment

Right now, it’s really popular for hysterical people to scream that this country is headed to fascism and it MUST BE STOPPED! Hillary Clinton won the popular vote and, by God, this election must be set aside because it’s unfair that the Electoral College doesn’t just hand her the election.

Would they be saying the same thing if Trump had also won the popular vote? Yes! This is mostly because they don’t understand what fascism is, but also because they haven’t been paying attention.

Image result for image of young ayn randThe United States has been growing in fascist policies for a long time. We slipped over the edge as a nation in the Bush administration and Obama’s administration just deepened that movement. Whoever became president in 2016 would have continued the trend – except possibly if Rand Paul or Gary Johnson had become president and they just would have ended up dead.

If you live in Alaska, you’re thinking fascism arrived here around 1979 when Carter shut down all avenues to economic growth except large companies by locking up access to federal lands. But I digress.

The fact is that this was predicted a long time ago. In a letter written on March 19, 1944, Ayn Rand remarked: “Fascism, Nazism, Communism and Socialism are only superficial variations of the same monstrous theme—collectivism.” Rand would later expand on this insight in various articles and speeches. Google “The Fascist New Frontier” and “The New Fascism: Rule by Concensus.”

Rand grew up in Soviet Russia and knew better than to accept the traditional left-right dichotomy between socialism (or communism) and fascism, according to which socialism is the extreme version of left-ideology and fascism is the extreme version of right-ideology (i.e., capitalism). She characterized fascism as “socialism for big business.” (The Ayn Rand Letter (1971). Socialism and fascism are variants of statism so occupy one end of a continuum. The other end is held by liberty based on individual rights and laissez-faire capitalism.

The world conflict of today is the conflict of the individual against the state, the same conflict that has been fought throughout mankind’s history. The names change, but the essence—and the results—remain the same, whether it is the individual against feudalism, or against absolute monarchy, or against communism or fascism or Nazism or socialism or the welfare state.” Rand

The placement of socialism and fascism at opposite ends of a political spectrum serves a manipulative purpose, according to Rand as it is used to buttress the case that we must avoid “extremism” and choose the sensible middle course of a “mixed economy.”

If it were true that dictatorship is inevitable and that fascism and communism are the two “extremes” at the opposite ends of our course, then what is the safest place to choose? Why, the middle of the road. The safely undefined, indeterminate, mixed-economy, “moderate” middle—with a “moderate” amount of government favors and special privileges to the rich and a “moderate” amount of government handouts to the poor—with a “moderate” respect for rights and a “moderate” degree of brute force—with a “moderate” amount of freedom and a “moderate” amount of slavery—with a “moderate” degree of justice and a “moderate” degree of injustice—with a “moderate” amount of security and a “moderate” amount of terror—and with a moderate degree of tolerance for all, except those “extremists” who uphold principles, consistency, objectivity, morality and who refuse to compromise.

In both of her major articles on fascism (cited above) Rand distinguished between fascism and socialism by noting a rather technical (and ultimately inconsequential) difference in their approaches to private property.

Observe that both “socialism” and “fascism” involve the issue of property rights. The right to property is the right of use and disposal. Observe the difference in those two theories: socialism negates private property rights altogether, and advocates “the vesting of ownership and control” in the community as a whole, i.e., in the state; fascism leaves ownership in the hands of private individuals, but transfers control of the property to the government.

Ownership without control is a contradiction in terms: it means “property,” without the right to use it or to dispose of it. It means that the citizens retain the responsibility of holding property, without any of its advantages, while the government acquires all the advantages without any of the responsibility.

In this respect, socialism is the more honest of the two theories. I say “more honest,” not “better”—because, in practice, there is no difference between them: both come from the same collectivist-statist principle, both negate individual rights and subordinate the individual to the collective, both deliver the livelihood and the lives of the citizens into the power of an omnipotent government —and the differences between them are only a matter of time, degree, and superficial detail, such as the choice of slogans by which the rulers delude their enslaved subjects.

In the 1960s, most conservative commentators thought we were at risk from socialism, but Rand contrarily maintained that America was drifting toward fascism, not socialism. She believed this descent was virtually inevitable in a mixed economy. “A mixed economy is an explosive, untenable mixture of two opposite elements,” freedom and statism, “which cannot remain stable, but must ultimately go one way or the other” (“‘Extremism,’ or The Art of Smearing”). Economic controls generate their own problems, which generates demands for additional controls. The controls must be abolished or a mixed economy will eventually degenerate into a form of economic dictatorship. Rand conceded that most American advocates of the welfare state “are not socialists, that they never advocated or intended the socialization of private property.” These welfare-statists “want to ‘preserve’ private property” while calling for greater government control over such property. “But that is the fundamental characteristic of fascism.”

Image result for image of continuum fascism communism libertyRand wrote the most insightful analyses of a mixed economy—its premises, implications, and long-range consequences—ever penned by a free-market advocate. She compared a mixed economy to a system that operates by the law of the jungle, a system in which “no one’s interests are safe, everyone’s interests are on a public auction block, and anything goes for anyone who can get away with it.”

In doing so, she also predicted with eerie accuracy what would happen today. A mixed economy divides a country “into an ever-growing number of enemy camps, into economic groups fighting one another for self preservation in an indeterminate mixture of defense and offense.” Do you have goosebumps yet? I still have them every time I read that phrase.

The economic “chaos” of a mixed economy resembles the Hobbesian war of all against all in a state of nature, a system in which interest groups feel the need to screw others before they get screwed themselves.

A mixed economy is ruled by pressure groups. It is an amoral, institutionalized civil war of special interests and lobbies, all fighting to seize a momentary control of the legislative machinery, to extort some special privilege at one another’s expense by an act of government—i.e., by force.

Yeah, eerie!

Rand never claimed that America had degenerated into full-blown fascism. She thought our freedom of speech would win out over the lunacy. She did believe that the fundamental premise of the “altruist-collectivist” morality—the foundation of all collectivist regimes, including fascism—was accepted and preached by modern liberals and conservatives alike, and she wrote more than one scathing critique accusing conservative leaders of “moral treason.” There were times in her writing where she seemed to detest modern conservatives more than she did modern liberals. She was especially contemptuous of those conservatives who attempted to justify capitalism by appealing to religion or to tradition.

Related imageRand illustrated her point in “The Fascist New Frontier,” a polemical tour de force aimed at President Kennedy and his administration. She began her 1962 lecture by quoting passages from the 1920 political platform of the German Nazi Party, including demands for “an end to the power of the financial interests,” “profit sharing in big business,” “a broad extension of care for the aged,” the “improvement of public health” by government, “an all-around enlargement of our entire system of public education,” and so forth. All welfare-state measures, this socialist-sounding platform concluded, “can only proceed from within on the foundation of “The Common Good Before the Individual Good.”

Rand then quote similar proposals and sentiments from President Kennedy and members of his administration, such as Kennedy’s celebrated remark, “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what America will do for you—ask what you can do for your country.” Rand dismissed the idea of “the public interest”, complaining that Kennedy and other politicians used this fuzzy phrase without definition, except to indicate that individuals have a duty to sacrifice their interests for the sake of a greater, undefined good, which left those who wield the brute force of political power to define that actual meaning.

[T]here is no such thing as ‘the public interest’ except as the sum of the interests of individual men. And the basic, common interest of all men—all rational men—is freedom. Freedom is the first requirement of “the public interest”—not what men do when they are free, but that they are free. All their achievements rest on that foundation—and cannot exist without them.

The principles of a free, non-coercive social system are the only form of “the public interest.”

When I was reading these essays recently, I realized that Rand might as well be talking about today. We could substitute “President Obama,” for “President Kennedy” or “President Johnson” and her points would be even more pertinent than they were during the 1960s. It’s the same sense I got when reading Fahrenheit 451 and feeling like I was peeking into our living rooms today with our widescreen TVs and ear buds. I don’t believe in calling writers “prophets”, but Rand did warn us that this day was coming.

So what do we do about it?

Well, there is that whole “freedom of speech” thing. We might want to start exercising it while we still can.

Posted December 8, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Political Philosophy

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Waking Up to the Reality of Fascism | Jeffrey Tucker   Leave a comment

I’ve been bashing Hillary some lately, so I thought I’d give equal time to Trump today.

We cannot treat the word “fascism” as an empty insult; fascism is the most successful ideology of the last century, and it is alive to this day.


Source: Waking Up to the Reality of Fascism | Jeffrey Tucker

Posted July 21, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in politics

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